In 2012, the Coalition Government replaced all existing planning guidance - except on waste - with the publication of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and National Planning Practice Guidance. These reforms changed the National Brownfield Strategy, promoted in 2003, which actively prioritised building on brownfield sites.
The Government published its housing white paper in February, along with a consultation seeking views on amending the NPPF to allow local authorities to amend Green Belt boundaries in "exceptional circumstances". The consultation ran from 7 February to 2 May 2017 and the Government said it expects to announce its conclusions "as soon as possible in 2018."
I am concerned that the Government's planning reforms have failed to do enough to promote new housing development. The Government rejected an Opposition amendment to the Housing and Planning Act during its consideration in Parliament, which would have ensured automatic planning permission would be limited to housing on brownfield land.
I believe the NPPF should enable reforms to ensure the planning system allows sustainable growth and the new affordable housing we desperately need, while protecting green spaces and the natural environment.